by Kendall Rogers
The rivalry between South Carolina and Clemson, at least on the baseball diamond, had always been about respect between two solid programs and coaches in the Gamecocks' Ray Tanner and Tigers' Jack Leggett.
That may no longer be the case thanks to comments made by Clemson toward South Carolina over the weekend. The Tigers accused South Carolina All-American outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. of using a hot bat, and Tigers two-way player Will Lamb referred to Gamecocks pitcher Tyler Webb as "soft" after a game over the weekend.
The two suddenly heated rivals butted heads on Tuesday night to settle a series filled with drama. And it was the Gamecocks that had the last laugh with a thrilling 5-4 victory to win the series 2-1.
Here's video of Ray Tanner's fiery postgame comments: http://youtu.be/TpGyQl3P3lg
Here's a look back at other items that caught our attention on Tuesday:
* South Carolina earned a series win over Clemson on Tuesday, and the Gamecocks got a huge home run from Wofford transfer Jake Williams, who coach Ray Tanner said last week was a huge surprise. The Gamecocks also received a solid performance from starting pitcher Adam Westmoreland, who allowed just a run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Clemson wasted a great performance by David Haselden, who struck out five and allowed just three hits in six shutout innings.
* Georgia Southern earned a huge midweek road win on Tuesday as it defeated top-ranked Florida 7-0. The Eagles got two solid innings from Chris Beck and Josh Adams threw three solid innings. However, it was final reliever Matt Murray that led the way by striking out five and allowing no hits in four innings. The win over the Gators might've nullified the series loss to St. John's last weekend.
* North Carolina may not be the flashiest team in college baseball, but it continues to get the job done in impressive fashion. The Tar Heels improved to 12-1 on Tuesday with a dominating 16-0 win over Elon. UNC talented pitcher Kent Emanuel struck out five and allowed just a hit in six innings, while third baseman Colin Moran collected two hits and tallied five RBIs. The way the Tar Heels find ways to win games this season is very impressive. Perhaps these guys are better than even we expected.
* UNLV got off to an incredibly hot start this season, and hoped to increase its stock again on Tuesday with a big win over Arizona. The Wildcats, though, didn't let that happen, dominating the Rebels on the way to a 12-1 victory. Leadoff hitter Joey Rickard and two-hole hitter Cole Frenzel combined for seven hits and three RBIs as the Wildcats notched an impressive win. The two teams play again Wednesday in a game the Rebels need to win.
* After winning its last two games in impressive fashion, Connecticut continued its West Coast trip with a bout against a red-hot UC Irvine. The Huskies suffered a 5-4 setback in a hard-fought contest. The Anteaters got a solid relief performance from Andrew Thurman, who allowed a run on four hits in four innings, while Drew Hillman led the way at the plate with two hits, one of them a double. Speaking of the Huskies, Mike Nemeth had two hits in the game, while top prospect George Springer was hitless.
* Cal State Bakersfield hit the road on Tuesday to face Fresno State in a better contest than people likely thought before the season. The Roadrunners had high hopes, but were bested by the Bulldogs, 9-2. Tommy Hoenshell had a poor start, allowing seven runs in just 4 2/3 innings, while the offense was held in check by Fresno State pitchers Tom Harlan, Cody Kendall and Josh Poytress. Kendall led the way with three shutout innings of relief work. It was a solid win for the Bulldogs.
* Oregon needs to figure something out, and it needs to figure it out quick. The Ducks can't seem to pitch at a high level at the end of games at times, but the biggest question mark right now is its offense. The Ducks sputtered again on Tuesday against Oregon State in a 4-1 setback. Oregon State starting pitcher Scott Schultz allowed just a run on four hits in four innings, while Tony Bryant and Matt Boyd did a fantastic job out of the bullpen. Oregon left nine runners on base in the contest.
* Virginia Tech lost several key players from last year's NCAA postseason team, and was expected to take a huge step back just a few weeks ago. However, the Hokies are one of the biggest surprises in the ACC so far this season. They recorded yet another impressive win on Tuesday, a 14-2 triumph over Florida Atlantic, to improve to 10-4. Starting pitcher Joe Parsons allowed just a run on five hits in five innings to lead the way, while outfielder Andrew Rash led the way at the plate with a pair of homers and three RBIs. Keep an eye on the Hokies as the season progresses.
* We're not big on actually rooting for teams, but it was tough not to hope Georgia earned a win over Mercer on Tuesday. The Bulldogs have been through a lot this week with the loss of Johnathan Taylor to injury. Well, the Bulldogs finally experienced something positive on Tuesday with an 8-6 road win over Mercer. Brett DeLoach and Jonathan Hester led the way at the plate, while Ben Cornwell, Patrick Boling and Tyler Maloof teamed up to take care of business on the mound. Now we'll see if the Bulldogs can head to the West Coast and take care of business while motivated.
* After getting embarrassed at home by Texas State last week, Baylor hit the road to face the same squad with revenge on its mind. The Bears got what they were looking for in a 6-4 triumph. BU starting pitcher Jon Ringenberg threw three perfect innings and reliever Kolt Browder followed with two scoreless innings. Offensively, Brooks Pinckard and Max Muncy each had two hits, while Joey Hainsfurther, who continues to catch for the Bears, and Chris Slater had three hits. That was a nice road win for the Bears.
* Santa Clara is improved this season, but it ran into an extremely motivated California club on Tuesday. The Golden Bears, coming off a bad weekend, thrashed the Broncos 20-5. Cal infielder Tony Renda went 5-for-5 with a home run and six RBIs, while Austin Booker had three hits and Vince Bruno, Marcus Semien, Chadd Krist and Danny Oh each had two hits. The Golden Bears couldn't have picked a better way to get back on track.